Iran has been the proverbial thorn in the side of the US ever since the fall of the shah, but the current cold war between the US and Iran could send a world teetering on the edge of a second global recession right over the cliff.
The current crisis revolves around the Strait of Hormuz, a pivotal sea passage through which millions of barrels of crude oil are carried daily, which Iran has threatened to blockade if the US levies new sanctions that prevent Iran from exporting oil. As a reaction to the threat, the US, UK, and Russia deployed battleships to the region as deterrents to prevent a closure, and if necessary, force Iran to reopen the Strait.
History has a tendency to repeat itself, and it’s hard not to draw comparisons between the current situation in the Strait of Hormuz and the 1960’s Cuban missile crisis, but who will blink first this time? Chances are it will be Iran, but that’s a gamble Americans can’t afford to take. The US needs to finally stand up to Iran and force the collapse of its government, for not only its own security, but also the world’s.
The sanctions Iran faces prevent any international governments or private enterprises from doing business with the Iranian Central Bank from accessing US financial markets. It forces Iran’s economic allies to ask themselves which they prefer: trade with Iran or trade with us? When you compare the two economies the answer is simple. The sanction puts a death grip around the fragile Iranian economy, preventing it from exporting its most valuable commodity: oil.
The sanctions could cause an economic collapse in Iran, making American dollars even scarcer than they are now and halting the inflow of goods from the rest of the world (except for food and medicine). Iranian leaders know that this type of sanction could be devastating to their people, potentially inciting riot and rebellion against the government. They could spell the end of the theocratic Ayatollah government. This is what caused Iran to threaten to close of the Strait of Hormuz, a bold move that attracted the entire world’s attention.
Iran is playing a very dangerous game by threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz. The act would not only cause a swift retaliation from the US and its allies, but also endanger Iran’s relationships with Russia and China, who have continually voted down tougher UN sanctions against Iran to protect their vital economic interests in the country, specifically access to the vast oil fields therein. A closure of the Strait would help the US make the case to China and Russia that the current regime is unstable and a change of leadership is necessary.
The Iran sanctions are in response to the country’s nuclear ambitions, which the Iranian government has repeatedly stated are for peaceful energy purposes. To many in the US this might seem like legitimate argument, but Iran sits atop vast reservoirs of natural gas that could be cheaply used as energy. The true purpose of the program is to build a nuclear bomb and carry out the lunatic fantasy of the Ayatollah: to bring about the destruction of the US and Israel and the arrival of the 12th Imam to the world.
Iran’s goal has always been to create a worldwide Islamic regime, and for years they have used negotiations as a tactic to stall for more time to complete the nuclear program they so desperately need to accomplish this. It is imperative the US not back down and that they force Iran to give up their nuclear program once and for all.
It should be noted that Iran would more than likely not dare to close the Strait of Hormuz; it would mean the end of the Ayatollah regime. But if it does happen it will inevitably draw us into another conflict in the Middle East we cannot walk away from in a hurry.
If anything can be taken from this conflict, it is that the United States has to become energy independent. We cannot keep importing oil from this unstable region and expect to never get involved in their affairs. The Keystone pipeline provides the US a chance to become a net oil exporter. It could have curbed our need for oil imported from the Middle East, but the Obama Administration put the concerns of hippies and tree huggers before American national security.
The Arab Spring was a perfect opportunity to further the objectives of the American opposition in Iran, but the US fumbled the ball here too—an error that led us to the situation we are in now.
If the crisis in the Strait of Hormuz really is the 21st century’s Cuban Missile Crisis, then the US needs to stand firm and confront the new evil empire of our time. We need to use the tools of economic, and if necessary, conventional warfare to facilitate the demise of the Ayatollah and their puppet dictator, Ahmadinejad. America and the world’s security depend on it.